Tag Archives: Cordello Quest

L is for Lovelight (Cordello Quest A-Z Series) and …. Happy Birthday, Lazuli Portals!

Despite the importance of lovelight in The Lazuli Portals trilogy, I’ve found it difficult to write about it for this blog post series – I don’t want to give away too much to potential readers who haven’t read the books yet! (Spoilers are something I really do prefer to avoid!)

Hopefully we’ve still done it justice. 🙂

In Cordello, lovelight is a precious energy: a beautiful synergy of the life force energy which is available to us all, and love – the feeling or approach or state which is accepting, compassionate, grateful, open, allowing, and supportive. It is a conscious collaboration of the highest and purest kind. No wonder lovelight in Cordello feels so magical!

As with anything deemed valuable, there are often others who wish to find a way to acquire it and twist it for their own ends. This is one of the key conflicts in The Cordello Quest, and the outcome could change everything for the peaceful country of Cordello.

Soon after Keira arrives there, Lord Charls explains that his country is under threat, and that boosting lovelight yet further may be vital in saving it.

“Keira, the Cordellan strength is in working together and in working with our positive energies. In creating lovelight, in spreading it to raise the energy of all others.

If we can raise it high enough, with sufficient focus and intention, it is possible that we can forestall any attack, and find a peaceful resolution. That is why you have come.”

Before she knows it, Keira finds herself in the quest to save lovelight. In the process, she discovers more wonders than she could ever have dreamed of…

During her time in Cordello, Keira also learns about lovelight globes, although making them is a skill she will need to practice. These globes are based on an energy tool I use called the Orb of Life (I received my original Orb, with instructions, from my Reiki Master).

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I’ve since ‘made’ well over a hundred of these little spherical stores of universal energy – most for past clients, friends, and family – and use mine daily. They practically wrote themselves into our series! You can read more about Orbs of Life in the Bonus Section of our website.

As with Orbs of Life, making the lovelight globes in Cordello is one thing, but using them is something else altogether. Aligning clear intentions and purity of spirit with lovelight or life-force energy can be a pretty potent combination, especially if it’s for the benefit of the wider world! In the case of Cordello, working in this way is a major part of what life is all about!

Oh, and before we forget, today marks our partnership’s sixth ‘birthday’ (Ron says it feels much longer than that lol). So happy birthday, Lazuli Portals, and may you go from strength to strength, bringing even more insight, lovelight, and reading pleasure to your readers with each year that passes.

Please help yourself to a little slice of calorie-free virtual birthday cake. 🙂

We hope you enjoyed this post! Please Like and/or Leave A Comment if you feel so inclined. Shares are greatly appreciated, too!

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

~ fiction for the awakening ~

How To Get The Most Out Of The Lazuli Portals!

Hint: We’re about more than simply writing and publishing our stories!

So we thought we’d compile a post to weave together all the colourful strands of our design so that you can get a better idea of the broader picture! (Maybe there’s something here that you’ll discover for the first time!)

While ‘The Lazuli Portals’ is our partnership and business name, the words also represent the trilogy of novels that we’ve been writing: books about spiritual awakening, featuring stone circles, crystals, parallel worlds, synchronicities, and life-force energy. When it comes to writing, this is our first ‘calling’, and where our writing journey began.

You can find out more about our books here.

You can find out more about us, and how we teamed up, here.

If you are particulary interested in soul connections, then we have our interview with Soulmate Experience here.

Aligned with following that calling, we also offer some ‘bonuses’ on our website, little extras that Joanna created when she was running her Winter Jasmine Reiki business. Now that she’s focusing solely on writing, all those freebies have been incorporated into The Lazuli Portals website.

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There are

:: free Reiki self-attunements (Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz, and Clear Quartz)

:: images infused with life-force energy (to give you a boost)

:: beautiful images featuring quotes from the books

:: information about orbs of life (similar to the lovelight orbs we mention in the novels) and

:: information about hand mudras and a free little ‘taster’ of the Gyan mudra energy

(and more!)

Also linking with the Lazuli Portals trilogy of novels are our Cordello Quest A-Z blog posts relating to concepts, ideas, and characters within the trilogy. So if you’re a fan of the novels, and like to explore ‘around’ the books that you read, you might enjoy those! So far we’ve written for the letters A-K, beginning with A is for Ascended Reikan, and ending with K is for Kaleidoscope. L is for Lovelight will be coming soon!

Much as we enjoy writing about life-force energy, spiritual growth, and crystals, we are sometimes tempted in other directions, such as paranormal suspense; we also write flash fiction, poetry and haiku. If that’s up your street then you’ll find lots of micro-fiction and poetry on our blog.

In addition, our little ebook  Crystal, Fire and Water is free for Amazon Kindle and also available through Smashwords for other ereader software.

Crystal, Fire & Water bold 1600

If you enjoy short stories, then our collections The House of the Stormwind and other short stories and Dark Perfume: Tales of Light and Shadow are also available.

DP Prism extract with date

For those of you who are fans of YouTube, then we do have our own channel, which usually gets updated when we launch a new book. Our clips include readings from our stories, and also an interview.

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If you enjoy book reviews, then take a look at our Recommended Read blog posts, some of which relate to fiction, others non-fiction. We may be expanding this series in the future to include guided meditation tracks and healing resources – and possibly colouring books for grown-ups! We don’t receive any financial recompense for any of the books or products we review: they’re simply shared because we want to.

Reiki for Life: A Complete Guide to Reiki Practice        The Winter Ghosts    Marchwood Vampire Series, Book 2    Earth Angel Series Boxset: The Earth Angel Training Academy, The Earth Angel Awakening & The Other Side

What about if you want to get in touch with us? Well, obviously you can leave a comment on any of our blog posts – but we’re also on Facebook and Twitter, sharing items we think will uplift, interest, or amuse. Or you can contact us privately through the contact forms on our website or blog, or reply to us when we send you a Newsletter (you can sign up for that here).

If you’re local to Devon/Cornwall, maybe you’ll see us with a stall at a mind-body-spirit fair! We’re happy to sign our books for readers buying from us in-person. 🙂

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Ron at Harewood House, waiting for opening time!

Joanna on Day One

Joanna on Day One at Crocadon Sawmill MBS Fair

Phew – putting all that together makes us realise what a lot we’ve achieved over the last few years! Are there any in the list that you didn’t know about – and are now glad that you did?!

We hope at least some of what we’ve shared with you above will be useful to you. If you have friends or family who’d enjoy our ‘offerings’, please do let them know about us! We’re independent authors, so every positive share or recommendation is valuable to us!

Many thanks for reading!

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

K is for Kaleidoscope (The Cordello Quest A-Z Series)

Kaleidoscope may not seem the most obvious choice for the letter K in this series! When I started thinking about this post many months ago, I assumed that when the time came, I would be writing K is for Keira.

But when I sat down to draft the post, Keira just didn’t feel right. Keira, as the central character in The Cordello Quest, appears in plenty of posts already. Kitty (relating to Mosaic of Light) and Kindness were also possibilities I thought of. So I asked on Facebook: “What do you think K should be about?”

There were several comments – all of which I considered –  but Julie S. and Kitty J. both mentioned Kaleidoscope, a word which had leapt off the page when I had been researching K words earlier that day. So although it needed some thought, here we are with K is for Kaleidoscope! 🙂

If you’re unfamiliar with the nature of a kaleidoscope, then have a peek at this short Wiki article

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Now I know this will come as a shock (hehehe!) but there aren’t actually any toy kaleidoscopes in The Cordello Quest or in Mosaic of Light! 😉

However, the feeling that I had as a child, when using my own little kaleidoscope (I wonder where that went!), was one of wonder and awe – amazement that this small tube filled with mirrors and coloured ‘bits’ could create such beautiful patterns of symmetry and light. And so awe is one of the themes of this post!

Awe and wonder and finding magic in the everyday, even when you understand the mechanics behind it (but especially when you do not!) are for me one of the joys of being alive.

From the stars, planets and moons populating the universe beyond our own world, right down to the petals on a flower opening in response to the light of our own sun, magic is everywhere if you are open to experiencing it.

We may have learned how to explain some of our surroundings with science or mechanics, but the experience of it can still be magical, if we allow ourselves to be wowed … if we take the time to be still and notice it.

In Cordello itself, Keira experiences plenty of awe, not least when she ‘discovers’ lovelight and begins to work with the energy. The power and light she witnesses in one experience leave her quite overwhelmed. 🙂

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I feel some of that same quiet wonder every time I switch on Reiki, or call on lovelight (life-force energy) or sit with a crystal and tune into its frequency. Or when I see a kaleidoscopic array of spinning, coloured patterns in my third eye when doing healing work. Even when writing: the process of creating something of form from that which appears to be formless.

If you have read Mosaic of Light, then you might see the mosaic itself as a moving kaleidoscope of colour. I will not describe it in further detail (much as I would LOVE to!) because we do try to remain spoiler-free on this blog! But if you’ve read the book you might understand why writing about the mosaic was a powerfully joyous experience!

I personally feel that life could be a little boring without awe and wonder, without a bit of mystery behind the everyday. You might well agree?

So we leave you with this quote from Mosaic of Light:

life-is-at-its-most-breathtaking

I’ll admit, after typing kaleidoscope so many times, I’m tempted to indulge my childhood nostalgia and add one to my Christmas list!

Did you ever have a kaleidoscope when you were little? What experiences leave you feeling awed – and perhaps mystified in equal measure? I’m sure there are several, and we’d love to hear about them!

With lovelight blessings,

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

Triskeles, Synchronicities, and Inspiration

While we don’t manage many ‘author appearances‘ (living 30 miles apart and having very different lifestyles play their part in that!) Ron and I were able to run stalls at two Mind Body Spirit fairs in Plymouth recently – yippee!

This is how they went …

(NB I regret my phone’s camera has a fault which means that every photo taken in low light comes complete with its own violet halo! I apologise for the image quality!)

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Ron sitting behind our stall before the Plympton fair opened

At both the Estover and Plympton fairs, we met stallholders from events we’d attended earlier in the year.

It’s a lovely boost to see some familiar faces when you turn up in a strange place laden down with your banners and your boxes and bags!

It was fun to reconnect with them, and to strengthen those fledgling relationships. It’s even better when synchronicities occur and we can offer a solution to someone’s ‘problem’! 🙂

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Ron chatting with Maureen Rolls, angel and animal communicator, during a quieter spell [www.angelandanimalcommunication.co.uk]

We also chatted with customers we’d met at previous events – we love hearing how much new readers are enjoying our novels and short stories – some of our customers are reading The Cordello Quest and Mosaic of Light a second time (and asking when the third will be ready, eek!)

As for new customers, it’s always interesting to chat with people who value crystals, Reiki, life-force energy, and working with intuition and synchronicity.

The few crystals we place on our table often spark a conversation, particularly the opalite tumblestone and the lapis lazuli. 🙂

At the second of the fairs (Plympton) – thanks to a brainwave idea from Ron, ever the ‘practical ideas man’ – the books we sold went home in little paper bags, upon which he affixed one of our business cards with a beautiful wax seal (thankfully without setting off any smoke alarms as the flame burned and the wax dripped oh-so-carefully onto the bag and card!)

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The first of our ‘special Lazuli Portals bags’! Large enough to take one copy of each of our paperbacks!

The design imprinted into the wax is the beautiful triskele, one of my favourite symbols.

The design seemed a good fit for us, what with Ron being Cornish, and the importance of symbols in our novels – and our customers seemed very taken with the idea.

It made the handing over of our books feel even more special! What do you think of it?

There can be downtime at these events – people are not always streaming non-stop through the doors (and not everyone who does is interested in reading!)

So apart from browsing the other stalls, and mingling with stall-holders/friends, Ron and I had plenty of time to chat about writing: the process, our series, and our plans, thoughts, and ideas, as well as the concepts and spiritual learning we weave into our work.

We don’t often get the opportunity to do that in-person, so when the chance pops up, we make the most of it!

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Customers chatting with Elaine Drake at her Aromaware stall [https://aromaware.co.uk]

We also worked on short stories and poetry for reading aloud at Writers’ Circle meetings, taking advantage of quiet moments to get scribbling and typing, or to edit or format other writing projects we have underway.

I used my experiences at Estover (the atmosphere, the crystals I saw, the bustle of customers as they wandered from stall to stall) to form a short story based at a fictional Mind Body Spirit fair.

That piece – entitled Pick and Mix – was read aloud at Writers’ Circle last week. With writers, every experience can be of some creative value!

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Some of the stalls at the Plympton fair, before opening time

We have a few weeks’ break from the fair circuit now. Our next one will be at Saltash, Cornwall, on 12 November.

If you think you might be able to come along, you can find out more here:

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In the meantime we’ll continue to work on Lazuli Portals Novel #3 (which I am able to progress most weeks, health and time permitting), and writing more stories and poems for Writers’ Circle … and anything else we can find time and energy for!

And of course we’ll continue posting on Twitter and Facebook (feel free to connect with us there if you haven’t already!)

We’re giving Instagram a try as well, if that’s more your ‘thing’. 🙂

We hope you enjoyed this post. Our next one will hopefully be K is for Kaleidoscope (Cordello Quest A-Z series).

If you want to make sure you see future posts from us, please Follow our blog, if you haven’t already! 🙂

Until next time, and with lovelight blessings,
Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

J is for Jason: Character Interview (The Cordello Quest A-Z Series)

Now that I’m actively working on the third novel in the Lazuli Portals series (whoop whoop!), it seemed perfect timing to share with you some insights about Jason, Keira’s boyfriend, whom we first met on a dark moorland night in the opening scene of The Cordello Quest.

We thought the most enjoyable way to do this would be for Jason to be interviewed …

We’ll try not to include spoilers (especially for those of you who have yet to begin your Lazuli Portals journey, with The Cordello Quest), but it’s soooo hard!

Cordello Quest

Hi Jason, thanks for dropping by to chat with us today. So let’s get started. What do you love most about Keira?

Hi, it’s good to be here. My favourite thing about Keira …. her curiosity of mind and spirit, I think. Yeah, I think she’s beautiful and sexy, too – and she doesn’t even know it! But she’s always had this drive to better herself: not just educationally but with how she behaves, and even how she thinks. I never know what she’ll come out with next, and sometimes that’s a bit odd, but it does keep life interesting! I reckoned that was why she was chosen for the Cordello quest. She has a really big heart, too, really cares deeply about people and situations.

What have you found most challenging about your spiritual journey so far?

The uncertainty, I guess. Having to trust where you’re putting your feet, as it were, when you can’t really see the path or what’s ahead. I’m not sure I trust myself that much, so I find it difficult ‘going with the flow’, as Keira calls it, rather than planning something using logic and intellect. I can do practical, no problem – but the universal energy stuff we’ve been experiencing is much more intuitive, less easy for me to get my head around. Perhaps that’s the point: it’s the heart and soul leading the way, not the head ….

Jason, you were born in Cornwall; what do you love most about the county?

Where the hell do I start with that question?! I love its contrasts: beautiful wooded valleys and creeks in the south, and the wild ruggedness of the north where the cliffs and beaches are open to the Atlantic. But to me Cornwall is unique, it has a spirit and romance that isn’t echoed anywhere else, to my mind. I’ve lived here all my life and still haven’t explored it all.

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How did you feel when you first realised Keira had gone missing, and you stumbled across her in the stone circle?

Bloody scared! Sorry … it was a real shock, though, I thought she’d hit her head or something, and had … it was an awful moment, a really sobering one. After that, though, the surprises never really stopped coming!

What are your favourite foods and drinks?

Well, I used to drink a bit too much of the alcoholic variety, to be honest. I’ve got more self-control now, and try to keep in mind that drinking too much left me a waste of space when Keira needed me. I know Keira worried about how much I drank, too, and that gave me the willpower to cut down. I still enjoy a beer or two, but it’s not a habit anymore. My favourite drink is actually tea!

As for food, I have quite a sweet tooth, so really anything from Keira’s cake tin would be my favourite, especially if it involves chocolate! Flapjacks always go down well, too … you didn’t happen to bring any with you, I suppose …?

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Haha! Sorry, not this time. Okay, we’re nearing the end now. Are there any other places you’d like to spend more time in?

Yeah. Cornwall’s great, but I like Scotland and Wales, too. The Celtic link, I suppose. And Brittany, in France, perhaps for the same reason. I’d hoped we could spend some time there once the mosaic of light adventure was over, but it didn’t pan out. I really want to see Cordello, as well, as it sounds amazing. But then there’s New Zealand – I loved the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies – and so many other places. I need a TARDIS, really …

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That would be handy on so many levels, wouldn’t it? Last question, Jason. Cats or dogs? Car or motorbike? Paperback or ebook?

That’s three questions!

Okay, well I like dogs a lot, and had a collie when I was growing up. But there’s something extra-special about cats, so that’s my preference if you’re making me choose.

The car is handy for going out with Keira, or transporting stuff, but my heart says motorbike and an empty road! No way would Keira let me out on that, though!

The book question is more complicated: I have paperbacks of novels that I really like, and would never give them away. But ebooks are definitely easier to buy and read, especially if you’re accessing them on several devices. Makes life easier going on holiday, too, as I can take ten on my ereader as easily as one. At the end of the day, though, it’s the story that counts, for me.

Thanks so much for allowing us to interview you, Jason! We’ll let you get back now. Oh, Keira’s just texted to say she’s taking a fruit cake out of the oven. So we’ll – oh, he’s gone! *waves*

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We hope you enjoyed this interview with Jason! We haven’t written the “K is for …” piece yet so if you have any preferences, please let us know in the Comments section below, or on Facebook or Twitter if you prefer.

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals

Update on the progress of The Lazuli Portals Trilogy Book 3!

book image for LP3 update april 2016

Following the publication of Mosaic of Light, the second in our metaphysical and visionary fiction series, we started work on Dark Perfume: Tales of Light and Shadow (you can find out more about both books here). 

By the time we’d launched Dark Perfume last autumn, I was struggling with health issues more than usual (I am a #spoonie) and had to take a break from writing and publishing our books simply to regain some wellbeing. (Grrrr! But at least I could still manage some short stories for Writers’ Circle and some bits and pieces for our blog!)

Finally, I felt alert and well enough to re-read The Cordello Quest and Mosaic of Light in depth, making pages of notes and “mustn’t forget”, “what about this?” and “ooooh, I must include that!” comments. Preparatory work, basically. It was fun, too, because I was remembering how many insights and scenes in the first two novels resonated with me, or were just plain enjoyable to re-experience!

However, the sheer volume of things I knew I needed to resolve, remember, add, or figure out was a tad overwhelming, and my frequent brain fog issues meant it was sometimes impossible to keep the necessary degree of focus. At other times I’d simply be too exhausted to try! (More Grrrr!)

Now and then I also found myself scribbling down little scenes involving Jason or Keira (and their friends and guides) which were demanding immediate release. I ended up with several seemingly-unrelated “bits of story”, which was intriguing as I’ve never worked that way before:  the story has always unfolded pretty much sequentially. By then it was obvious this book was starting to build itself in my subconscious, and that the writing of it would ‘need’ to begin soon …

And then, a few months ago, the timing was finally right. I had a crystal-bright vision play out (just before falling asleep of course, so on went the light, pen and paper grabbed, *scribble scribble*, then an attempt to fall asleep with my mind buzzing and spiralling. Helpful, not!)

Once I had that, I knew the book’s starting point, and was able to ‘get underway’ with the opening chapters. (Happy sigh!)

I am now pleased to tell you that LP3 (Lazuli Portals #3, as it doesn’t yet have a formal title) has passed 24,000 words (about 85 paperback pages) and nine chapters, and is taking me in very interesting directions! It feels a complicated storyline – it’s the third in the planned trilogy, too – so there is a lot to figure out along the way. Thankfully the natural development of the story, as told through the characters, does that for me, sometimes! Guess which ones are the loudest at making their thoughts known, lol!

So anyway … we thought we’d share this progress with you so that you know that LP3, while still young, unformed, and a little unruly, is filled with potential and gradually growing up and getting itself together.

Being a spoonie, that’s all as stamina and health allow, of course…!

But I’m trusting in the unfolding, and in the balance of it all.

~ Joanna and Ron

The Importance and Fun of Story Titles

The title of a story or book is like a headline. It either grabs you in some way (not literally, of course) … or it doesn’t. Take the following ten titles – what images, feelings, or questions do they bring to mind?

  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Enchanted Wood
  • A Game of Thrones
  • The Kite Runner
  • A Discovery of Witches
  • Swallows and Amazons
  • The Winter Ghosts
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Gone With The Wind
  • The Hobbit

In my opinion, choosing a title for a book or short story can be almost as much fun as writing the story itself!

It got me thinking about how Ron and I came up with the titles for our published books and short stories.

 

The Cordello Quest

Cordello Quest

In the course of writing our first novel, the name Cordello popped into my mind from nowhere. That, of course, became the magical parallel world in which Keira unexpectedly finds herself.

It wasn’t until we’d finished the first draft and realised we wanted to ‘make this a proper novel’ that we considered what we’d call it! Having Cordello in the title seemed an obvious decision!

It took us a little longer to work out the rest of the title, one which we felt honestly conveyed the heart of the story.

The word “quest” conjures up a journey, a search … and, by extension, a seeker; that seemed to reflect both the story itself, and the alchemical process of writing our first novel together. We knew The Cordello Quest was perfect as soon as we hit on the combination. It was a keeper!

 

The House of the Stormwind and Other Short Stories

The House of the Stormwind and other short stories

We love this title, which was taken from our short story of the same name. The word stormwind was inspired by Welsh rock band Dare, who remain a firm favourite of mine!

I like the way House of the Stormwind inspires a sense of elemental power and mystery – perfect for a house which is seeking resolution to ‘the Stormwind curse’! The title certainly captured the imagination of some of our readers!

This title seemed a good fit for the book as a whole, right from the point we started bringing this collection of tales together.

 

Crystal, Fire and Water

Crystal, Fire & Water bold 1600

Our free ebook contains many micro-stories and four short stories of around 1000 words, but none of their titles felt right for the book. Perhaps that’s because Crystal, Fire and Water contains so many individual and diverse stories written over a number of months.

In this instance we therefore decided to entitle the book based upon a few of its themes: the fire of the trainee magician and of Three Matches; the water in which Keira and Jason see lovelight; the crystal cave which draws Keira’s attention and imagination inward.

 

Mosaic of Light

MoL Light Front JPG

The title of our second novel was a natural consequence of the story’s own progression. Although I don’t plan the novels, for once, I knew ahead of time that there would be a “mosaic of light” featured in the novel, and that it would be key to the story’s development.

So this time the title was fixed long before the first draft of the book was finished. Being a lightworker, it also felt really good having the word “light” in the title. Our cover designer certainly seized on that when he was crafting Mosaic of Light’s cover!

 

Dark Perfume: Tales of Light and Shadow

Dark Perfume 3D paperback Mock Up (cropped)

Dark Perfume is not the longest story in this collection of tales, but we believed it gave the right “feel”. (It also piqued Ron’s imagination when it came to designing the book’s cover, and I think he did a grand job!)

Light and Shadow also suggests to readers that in this volume of short stories, darker tales lurk between the lighter-hearted ones.

Here’s a screenshot of Dark Perfume’s Table of Contents.

Dark Perfume ToC

Of the 33 titles listed, are there any that you particularly like?

Many of the short stories we publish were originally written for Writers’ Circle meetings, where the word limit is 1000. Our year’s ‘schedule’ gives us a choice of two titles for each meeting; it can be surprising where a word prompt like this can lead for different writers.

Of those particular tales, some have retained their ‘original’ titles e.g. Rose Gold, Behind Closed Doors, Ebb Tide, The Wanderer. Other stories felt more comfortable wearing a new title e.g. The Wanderlust Girls, and The Quiet Invasion.

It can be fun to pick a title (either at random or by design) and let a story flow from there, just to see where it takes your imagination. It can be just as much fun to write an entire book and then ponder what to call it. 😉

At the end of the day, it’s all about the words, your imagination, and the pictures you make in your mind …

Which Lazuli Portals titles are your favourite(s), and what other book titles have teased at your imagination?

Joanna and Ron | The Lazuli Portals